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California State Parks Foundation Statement Regarding Governor's Proposed FY 2012-13 State Budget


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By: California State Parks Foundation (CSPF)

January 6, 2012 - On January 5, Governor Jerry Brown released a Fiscal Year 2012-13 State Budget that contains dire cuts to California's state park system. The budget continues down the path of closing state parks by taking a $22 million General Fund cut to the Department of Parks and Recreation. Equally serious and provocative, the budget also proposes to eliminate all seasonal lifeguards and 20 percent of ranger positions in California state parks if the governor's November ballot initiative for new revenue isn't successful. Despite the fact that a decision on that initiative is ten months away, the governor is demanding that these state park reductions be made this spring.

Below is a statement from President of the California State Parks Foundation Elizabeth Goldstein:

"The governor's budget proposal not only locks the gates to one quarter of the state parks system—70 parks—but it further threatens Californians' ability to visit and enjoy their state parks with safety and confidence. We recognize the difficult choices that are, and need to be, made in the budget process, but this doesn't feel like an honest dialogue about budget consequences. If it was, the governor would be honest with Californians about the safety impacts for the public that will result from the closing of 70 state parks. The governor would be transparent about the economic impacts that closures will cause and exacerbate in struggling communities up and down the state that rely on park tourism.

Proposing to eliminate all lifeguards on state beaches and one-fifth of all state park rangers is a grave threat to the public's safe access to state parks. This cut goes too far and must be stopped. It is also a distraction from the fact that the state is in the process, right now, of walking away from 70 parks that it is responsible for stewarding and protecting for all Californians.

In each of the prior park closure proposals, we've mobilized hundreds of thousands of Californians to speak up to save their state parks. We look forward to helping park visitors, supporters, and all Californians stand up and defend their parks.

This governor has gone where no governor has gone before with state parks. Californians are frustrated with their state parks being held hostage in the budget process, especially when the claims of "budget savings" from closures are unlikely to materialize, but are likely to end up costing the state and local communities. We are calling on the Legislature to take leadership against the governor's proposal and protect the priceless natural, cultural and historic resources in our parks."

About CSPF

With our 130,000 members, the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) is the only statewide independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California's magnificent state parks. CSPF is committed to improving the quality of life for all Californians by expanding access to the natural beauty, rich culture and history, and recreational and educational opportunities offered by California's 278 state parks—the largest state park system in the United States. For more information about CSPF, visit calparks.org.

 

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